Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill [HL] - Committee (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:34 pm on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Baroness McDonagh Baroness McDonagh Labour 3:34 pm, 8th January 2019

My Lords, I shall speak to the amendment in my name on the Order Paper. It is a Christmas miracle: I now have evidence that Santa Claus exists. The Trade Bill finished Second Reading on 11 September, and with the looming date of 29 March, I thought, “Gosh, we are going to get it back in October”, but there was no Trade Bill to be seen. It had to be November, but there was no sign of the Trade Bill anywhere. It must be December, then, but no sign of the Bill. So, on 19 December, I went to see the clerks and put down this amendment. I know many of my colleagues also started to ask to questions about the Trade Bill. It is a miracle: we get back from Christmas, and we have four days for Committee at the end of January.

This is part of a wider political strategy. I understand that some incompetency is involved in this—of course there is Chris Grayling—but this is part of a bigger strategy. Six months ago, the Government adopted a kick-the-can-down-the-road strategy, where every day when they got up they hoped something better would happen. When they realised that was not going to happen, they adopted a new strategy, called the cliff-edge strategy. We saw it at the weekend with the Prime Minister’s media interviews, and with the Answers to Questions yesterday from the Minister the noble Lord, Lord Callanan. The strategy is that “Either you agree with me, or I will wreak chaos and havoc on this House and this country”. It is never true when people tell you there is only one way. There are always other options, and the possibility of preventing chaos.

While I say today that I will not be moving this amendment and pressing it to a vote, I put the Chief Whip the noble Lord, Lord Taylor, on notice: if there are any further delays in legislation, any holding up of Bills that should go back to the other place, any dumping of hundreds of SIs without the time given to debate them, I will have no hesitation bringing such a Motion or amendment back to the House.

I think nearly a majority of Back-Benchers in every group in this House feel the same way. Even if the Government are not going to prevent chaos, we are.

Amendment to the Motion not moved.

Motion agreed.

Clause 1: Power in respect of EU financial services legislation with pre-exit origins